Inside the Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection.
ACT at MIT

Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection

1967 – 2009

New! Enter the CAVS Digital Collection Site Here!

View the collection finding aid

ACT has recently made public a subset of digitized materials from the CAVS Special Collection on our experimental digital collection interface. Currently featuring images of works, the site also includes posters, academic course booklets from the Master of Science in Visual Studies (SMVisS) degree program, and publications from exhibitions. As the project continues, thousands of additional images, documents, and video files will be added. Designed for both artists and academics, the site will grow to include research resources that document the process of creating art, such as proposals, administrative records, and correspondence.

In addition to launching the digital collection interface, ACT is celebrating the CAVS50 anniversary by developing exhibitions, events, an international symposium, and a publication, all intended to explore ideas that emerged from CAVS—art and the environment, art at the civic scale, and art as it relates to the future—in a contemporary context.

About the CAVS Special Collection

The Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection (CAVSSC) is the repository of a nearly 45 year history of collaborative and time-based productions generated by or related to the tenure of over 200 internationally recognized artist-fellows.  The collection includes photos, books, posters, documents, portfolios, films, videos and audio tapes of great historical significance.

The materials include hundreds of moving images in various time based media, over 200 posters and artists’ prints, 1000+ photographs, and over 130 feet of documents including artists’ notes, sketches, and correspondence. Materials concern the processes and productions of notable artists such as György Kepes, Aldo Tambellini, Stan van der Beek, Charlotte Moorman, Antoni Muntadas, Nam June Paik, Otto Piene, Yvonne Rainer, Maryanne Amacher, Alan Sonfist, Takis, Jack Burnham, and more recently Krzysztof Wodiczko, Judith Barry, Damon Rich, John Malpede, Michael Smith, Fritz Haeg, Vito Acconci, Mel Chin, The Lost Highway Expedition and many more.

 

History

For a brief overview of CAVS history, see Elizabeth Finch’s description.

 

Collection Processing and Access

The CAVS Special Collection has undergone extensive processing since summer 2012. The collection was digitized and reference requests are served digitally via Dropbox. The collection may be browsed on request by appointment. Records containing certain personal information are restricted. Access granted to researchers does not imply permission to publish. See Policies page for details.

Please note: ACT is in a transition process between archivists and research access may be limited or delayed at this time. Email email hidden; JavaScript is required with any questions.